National American Red Cross Founder’s Day, May 21st

National American Red Cross Founder’s Day is observed annually on May 21st, recognizing the importance of the American Red Cross and honoring its contributions to the nation. To celebrate the day, you can learn about its history and origins, its founders, and volunteers. You can also share your findings, experiences, and insights on social media using #AmericanRedCrossFoundersDay. The American Red Cross is a non-profit organization supported mainly through donations, so the most helpful way to mark the day is to contribute either your money or time.




The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization, a national affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which provides emergency assistance and disaster relief and disaster preparedness education programs. It aids communities in times of need, supply communication services for military members and their families, and collects and distribute blood donations and products across the country.


The organization was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, a pioneering nurse during the American Civil War who also helped to identify missing and deceased soldiers afterward. Following the war, Barton traveled to Europe, where she learned about the International Red Cross and volunteered to work with the organization during the Franco-Prussian War. Upon returning to the US, Barton established a local branch of the Red Cross to serve and support the people. Barton held the first official meeting of the American Red Cross on May 21st, 1881, in Washington, DC. She was its first president and led it for the next twenty-three years.




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